Friday, August 21, 2009

New Baby Pics

More new babies arrived at 3:30 am on Wednesday morning. How do I know what time they were born? I was there... This doe is an older doe. I had previously bred her and the delivery did not go well. I waited a long time, thought I would not breed her again, but then decided to try to get some replacement germans for my wool herd. I only had one german buck who I had kept, the best one I had, but I'd try several times to get babies from two does who kept going false, so I thought he was sterile. Turns out he is not. To make a long story short, the poor doe was in labor all day, rearranging her nest a bunch of times and then stretching out and panting. I was checking on her every few hours all night long, so finally she had them. One dead kit, who I think was stopping up the works, but 7 little pink wigglers finally arrived. She is being an excellent momma, but there are a couple of small ones in there so we will have to wait and see. Some of these will be available for new homes in a couple of months.
Also above is an updated pic of the last litter. Look closely, the front two kits are fawn and choc agouti. I love the choc agouti to spin, very similar color to the fawn, but with choc fiber mixed in to give it a tweed effect. I'm retaining 4 out of this litter, fawn, choc agouti, tort, and the little choc runt, who you can see in the pic, is very small.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Babies Galore

We've been blessed with a bunch of babies lately. One bunch was planned, expected, while the two other batches were of their mama's making.
First up, my new bunny litter out of my fawn doe Breeze. She has 6 nice kits, 1 runt who is chocolate, a fawn, a tort, a chocolate agouti, and two whites. All of the colors are being added to my wool herd, the two whites will probably be available for a spinner home. These are 57% german, the rest is mostly english. I absolutely love the texture of Breeze's wool for spinning and wanted to have some younger bunnies in the herd to carry on for their mom.
Next is my little banty hen who stole away into the woods and made a nest behind the dog kennel. I guess she knew the dog would not let anything get her. She emerged with 5 little puff balls. We don't need any more chickens, but they sure are cute and bantys don't eat much. I know I have another chicken who has been mia, but I saw her for a brief bit the other day. I think she has a nest in the hay bales but I haven't found it yet. She is an americauna so maybe I can sell some of those chicks to a new home.
Last but not least is my muscovy duck hatch. Mom Blackie decided to make a nest under the front porch out of my reach. I did not think they would hatch, but surprise they did and now she has 7 little yellow balls of fluff. Now mind we really did not need more ducks as I bought some day old muscovy babies this summer and they are now big and on the pond. Winter seems to be hard on the ducks though with predators. We've tried to keep them safe this year by building a fence all the way around the pond, but who knows if it will keep everything out when the pond freezes. Anyone know of a cheap source of a water aerator to keep the ice from forming? Anyway I probably won't thin the muscovy flock until spring.
Enjoy the baby pics.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Busy Weekend

Wow what a hectic weekend, time to go back to the real job and rest! Saturday I woke up at 2 am to finish the knitting on the sock class project so I'd be ready to turn the heel in class. Did manage to grab a couple of more hours of sleep before I had to get up and do chores.
After the class I sheared and sheared, temps close to 90 with high humidity caught me off guard. This cool weather we've been having lulled me into a sense of security with rabbit coats. I think when the temps started to rise I was more stressed than they were though. But it was time to get them sheared because in 90 days I can harvest. I like to try and time my winter shearings to November and February. November because it is not quite too cold in early November and February because we generally get a warm up period in there for a couple of weeks. That also allows me to time the last shearing in May before it gets too hot.
Sunday brought more shearing and then we had to go and load hay. I've gotten all but two of the bucks sheared to the skin again, toe nails done, and ivomeced all except the doe who has a litter and another doe who is possibly bred, she also kept some wool on belly and chest to pull. If she doesn't kindle in two weeks then she'll get sheared as well.
Next weekend I need to start work on the horse stalls, the flood really did a number on those.